Are you helping your tween figure out her shape, skin care?

My oldest daughter is about to be 13 and during this last year I have been trying to help her figure out how to best care for her skin type and find clothes that best flatter her figure.

Rose has her father’s skin and tends to break out some. I have extremely dry skin and didn’t really have acne as a teenager so my skin-care regimen even from my younger years doesn’t really work for her. So we’ve been trying different products to figure out what out what works best for her. She was using a Clean and Clear pore cleanser but it seemed kind of harsh so now we are trying a Neutrogena grapefruit cleanser that has some Salicylic acid in it for the acne. (It’s funny because my mother has oily skin and never used to tell me to use lotion or buy me lotion and I was always so dry as a kid.)

She hasn’t really started wearing make up yet but I occasionally pick her up a lip gloss and inevitably choose the wrong shade. Again, her skin coloring is more like her father. She is very olive where I am very fair so all the shades I wear just don’t work for her. Also, she has brown eyes where I have blue so when she’s ready for eye make up I’m not sure what to tell her.

On the clothes front, she is petite but curvy. Michael’s mother was under 5-feet tall and Rose is about that now and is probably not going to grow much more. (The pediatrician says girls’ hips fuse two years after they start their periods and that will be their height.)  She is very curvy and that can come off looking heavy on short girls, but she is not heavy. I am about 5’6 and have been about the same height since eighth grade so even though I am also curvy I have more height to work with. When we go shopping I have no idea what silhouettes will look best on her. Oh and she hates to shop so you can’t get her to try on bunches to find exactly the right thing.

Rose is being inducted into the Junior National Honor Society next week and we need to buy her a dress. So I started Google searching “short and curvy” yesterday. I found out the preferred term is “petite and curvy” but I did find lots of tips for the flattering fits. Some of the recommendations included: A-line skirts, V-neck or scoop necks,  monochromatic is better, tailored clothes are better than boxy and belts are good, especially wide ones. Also short skirts make the legs look longer, tapered tops and jackets also make a waist. Also articles advised heels (not ready for yet) and long earrings to help add length. So I do feel like this is helpful – we should look for a dress with a belt of some sorts, tailored, shorter better than longer and with an open neck.

So is your daughter’s shape or skin totally different from your own? Did you help her figure out what worked for her or flattered her best or just let her figure it out through trial and error? Do you have any tips for “petite and curvy” gals?

42 comments Add your comment

Peter North

April 4th, 2014
5:50 am

Wow! I am impressed! A first in many weeks – a blog without Cut and paste followed by “What do you think?”.

Incredible. Theresa actually took the time to do:

1. Formulate an original thought and idea.
2. Write out her thoughts ina decent, organized blog
3. Take the time to actually write something other than Google searching “Families”, scanning for an article and then cutting and pasting followed by writing a few sentences followed by “What do you think?”

I’m impressed today. Will it last? Of course not! She normally chooses the easy way out and it won’t last next week as the cut and past continues.

But for today people, celebrate! An original blog from a journalism major who is also a Professor! Share the wonder of Theresa’s production today.



April 4th, 2014
7:02 am

Theresa – The Burt’s Bees Acne Solutions moisturizer is a great one for her to try. It has worked wonders for my 17 yo (the 13 yo hasn’t had acne issues – yet). We’re going to be trying the other products they have gradually, as we don’t want to make too many changes at once, but I’ve really loved everything I’ve ever used from Burt’s Bees.

No suggestions for the figure. Although my girls are also petite, they are busty but slender. As much as she may hate trying things on, that is really the best way to figure out what flatters.

Good luck!

April Mae

April 4th, 2014
7:07 am

It’s hard, isn’t it? Mine (not my daughter but I’m helping to raise her – long story) is tall and skinny. I’ve never been tall, and skinny was a long time ago. The Junior Honor Society induction is a big deal, but she wore one of her nicer church dresses for it and was fine. And while tailored is a good look for us petite & curvy types, remember that she’ll probably want some bling or sparkle.

I agree with the article you found and have one item to add – tailor if necessary. We petite/curvy types often need the waist taken in and hemming. It totally changes the look when it really fits well.

For her coloring, try going more in the coral/taupe family for lip gloss. Better yet, take her shopping to Sephora or similar and find some that look good on her. Clinique is relatively affordable – try the Black Honey shade. It’s not too bright and looks great on olive skin.

I have tall skinny friends who have tall skinny children. They’ve been invaluable for finding what brands (Gap Kids!) fit that body type.


April 4th, 2014
7:23 am

I have very oily skin. I’ve found that white toothpaste is good for breakouts – dab a little on the zit/bump before bed and it dries it right up. I’ve been using that for years and it’s never failed me. Also I stick to baby wipes instead of washes as they seem to be less harsh on my skin.


April 4th, 2014
7:36 am

My oldest is shaped like me but her coloring is completely different. My youngest is the opposite; similar in coloring but not body shape. We tried several skin care products and adjust accordingly. I think simple is best so we use older products not the latest treatments. As for clothes, we talk a lot about shape and cut. TWG remember junior-clothes are typically tiny and short so they may fit better than you think. Petites are an option but….no teen wants to look like her mom or grandma.


April 4th, 2014
7:49 am

Definitely look for A-line dresses and skirts. They are very flattering when you have wider hips and thighs (like me). Something like this from Old Navy paired with a cute sweater would look very nice –

Me 2

April 4th, 2014
7:51 am

I would suggest the dermatologist or just good ole trial and error. Cetaphil is good as well as Purpose…these can be found in Target/Walmart, drugstores. I would hope she’s not wearing makeup at 13, a tinted lipgloss is perfect for this age.

On the clothing front, she’s at the stage where she will literally have to try on everything. Good luck and don’t worry/overthink/fret as you tend to do :)


April 4th, 2014
7:55 am

TWG my kids have more olive to their skin too and we all have brown eyes: Brown, Green and Purple—eye shadows will work for Rose’s brown eyes. Lip glosses leaning more orange or red base seem to do better for due to the olive tones..and a Coral blusher. (I have Irish heritage and look horrible in oranges and deep reds!…The purple reds and pinks work on me not on them).

My oldest has the T zone. She washes her face with Noxzema. Then a quick swipe of astrigent (sp?) on the T zone to remove the oils. Watching what all she eats helps too…healthy skin is aided by fresh fruits and veggies! Exfoliant on the zit before bed seems to work.

My oldest (14) is also petite and curvy (5′1″)–She looks great in the A-line skirts (just above the knee so to make the leg look longer) with a blouse. Also she likes the wide belts that make her waist look more narrow with a long shirt and leggings. Although her standard school attire is a tank top with a open button down over it (like a jacket) and jeans…she prefers the boot cut b/c it makes the leg look longer and more symmetrical with her hips. She claims to be a fashionista…If I can find a photo of her I can send to you from FB on message to give you an idea if you want.


April 4th, 2014
7:58 am

I went through this with my oldest daughter. In the black race, we come in about 22 different shades of black. My daughter is about 3 shades darker than me. All I could do was take her to the make-up counter, similar to what my mom did for me because I’m about 2 shades darker than her. As for clothing, our bodies are similar (at least what mine used to be lol). Being well-endowed in the derriere makes shopping for jeans, sometimes skirts, a real hassle. It took us a while to find the best brand of jeans. It’s still a struggle but I’m glad more designers have embraced making jeans and trousers for the typical black woman’s shape, which used to be criticized all the time. I never thought I’d live long enough to see women getting butt injections and implants to get a bigger butt. Times have definitely changed.

Mom of 3

April 4th, 2014
7:58 am

Do you have an Ann Taylor Loft where you live? My petite sized daughter gets many of her dresses there. They have a large selection, many are A-line, that would probably be perfect for her. The store has many styles that would work for younger girls and many styles that come in petite. They also run regular sales. Yesterday my daughter purchased a dress there for 50% off. And usually dresses work better on petite bodies because they don’t cut you in half like skirts and blouses tend to do.
Good luck!


April 4th, 2014
8:09 am

I agree with the color recommendations for olive skin. I’m an olive-skin girl as is my youngest. My oldest is not. It’s a learning curve. No make up in our world before high-school so the youngest wears lip gloss only. She recently picked a pretty garish shade. She paid for it, so not my issue. :)
A-line items and tops with a peplum work for the curvy shape. The current high-low hem trends in tops and dresses are a challenge. Much better for taller girls. Since Rose isn’t a shopper, that makes it easier. Find something she likes, stick with it until her tastes change and don’t stress about it. Teen-clothes are essentially disposable; not made for long-term wear. Don’t spend much money or thought.


April 4th, 2014
8:34 am

Well, I should just pretty much say everything that FCM said..Mine is not quiet 5 ft. and if what the Dr told Theresa is true, she will never be any taller..Mine likes the 60’s clothes and she does a lot of layers..She uses the Neutrogena wipes and those seem to work fine for what little skin problems she has..

@RJ..Already been a rough day, so your last couple of lines really made me laugh..Who would of ever thought women would want a bigger booty..

Good Grief

April 4th, 2014
8:50 am

I think Benzoyl Peroxide is harsh on young skin, so we used Hydogen Peroxide. A good soap like Purpose, Basis or Cetaphil will also do the nicely but do NOT scrub as that tends to irritate. The KEY is washing Morning and Night, and anytime after excercise. A light moistuizer is also necessary and my boys actually used Oil of Olay original. A daily routine is so important!

Be weary of Proactiv – it is not for everyone. In fact, I know only 1 teen out of about 10 that were happy with the results. Their marketing and subscriber tactics try to keep you as a customer with billing through your credit card.

If the basics fail, I would personally skip the Proactiv route and so straight to a skin care specialist, then a dermatologist. The skin care specialists are around to work with us middle aged gals instead of plastic surgery routes, but they worked miracles on two of my boys skin. The 3rd boy seem to be lucky with minimal problems.

On the clothes front, as long as your daughter is dressed appropriate for you (and the school dress code) just grin and bear it. I think teen fashions today are cheaply made, hideous looking and overpriced. I have to keep reminding myself of my mothers reaction to my 80’s look and how she hated that, our kids are no different.

Good luck


April 4th, 2014
9:03 am

I pulled up the blog this morning and… well…. actually pleased. A very well written piece of material with lots of subject matter.

Theresa, please keep writing your own material and do not revert back to “cutting and pasting”. By definition a blog is someone writing original content, thoughts, ideas and a different perspective. This is something that use to be done on a regular basis on this blog however for the last year the decline in quality by searching for any article to post and then literally write a few sentences seems to me as if you lost interest doing this blog. With today’s post it shows me that you have the capability to write very well; it also shows me that for over a year the choice you have made is to take the easy way out via cutting and pasting. Either take pride in what you do for a living or no longer do it.

Please write for starters one weeks worth of original content for everyone benefits, including yourself as a professional. Do not go back to “Cut and Paste” and long article with only a few sentences commenting on the article Michael sent you from the AP.

Have a good day.


April 4th, 2014
9:17 am

I think both Loreal and Almay have eye shadow that’s meant for certain color eyes, and they include a dark shade to use as a liner. I like those, and they’re pretty inexpensive — maybe $6 per compact.

As for skin care, you’ll probably have to switch it up for a few years — what works well now may only for a few months (my skin varied a bit through high school). If Aveeno has an anti-acne line, I’d try that. Their stuff is pretty gentle.

You mentioned that she hates shopping and that you picked up a lip gloss for her. Is she showing interest in wearing makeup or are you just thinking it’s time? It sounds like maybe she’s not into all this stuff yet (I may be misreading). If so, you may want to wait until she is (if she ever is) to start worrying about it other than clothes she really needs for a special event like the NHS thing. Provide gentle help where you can, but give her a chance to find her own style, and remember, the better you think something looks, the more she’s going to want something else.


April 4th, 2014
9:54 am


Were your comments really necessary?


April 4th, 2014
11:28 am

James: I am sure Peter came across pretty harsh, but I have to admit that I shared his feelings. I’ve been hanging out in this blog for years. I was pretty active (most days, not every day the topic interested me); but lately I cannot even fathom making a comment.
I am sorry if this offends anyone and I really don’t want to hurt Theresa’s feelings, but there is no denying the quality has decreased drastically, My thought (most days lately) was that it was obvious that Theresa had slapped this together in 5 seconds, so I don’t see why I should spend any more than that commenting or even reading it. Clicks and comments measure the popularity of a blog and I honestly did not see the point in giving clicks and comments to AJC on a blog that was slapped together at best.
And I think I may not be the only one. This blog used to have a minimum of 50 to 100 comments a day back in the day. I think lately, you are lucky to see 20.


April 4th, 2014
11:59 am

I use Clean and Clear and I find that is better than Proactiv for me. Also, I use the Neutrogena (?) Simple line for moisturizer. Oily skin does need moisture or else the skin will produce oil to keep it from getting it dry. The simple line has a light moisturizer and a rich moisturizer. I use the light for the day time, rich at night if I find that my face is getting dry. I am Black and I wear golds and even pink lip glosses. Even if you don’t buy from them, take Rose to MAC or even a Mary Kay consultant and let them show you what colors look good on her. You can find less expensive ones that fit her color palate. It’s not that bad once you accept the fact that you have to treat her as her own person, with her own needs, not as an extension of yourself. That is not an insult. I think a lot of parents have to do that. My mother has to be reminded of this sometimes and I’m 41. (I have to remind her that she doesn’t have to like what I have in my house because it is MY house! LOL)

As for clothing, creating a waist is always good. Belting a dress is a good way to do that. A-line skirts are good for a shapely person, especially for a teenager. You won’t get much hip-hugging in an A-line skirt. Plus they are so cute and feminine, IMO of course. You can wait on the heels and put her in some really cute ballet flats. Who cares if she doesn’t look tall or if her legs don’t look a mile long! She’s a KID. When she gets older, THEN think about that stuff. I love V-necks but I’m sure you don’t Rose to wear the deep Vs that are prevalent in teen apparel now. You’ll have to be careful to make her try on clothes just because they are not as modest as you probably want her to be or even as they appear on the hangar.

Good luck to you and Rose. This is challenging but also exciting as you see her grow up!


April 4th, 2014
12:01 pm

To the Theresa haters…if you don’t like her blog, why do you continue to read it? Her goal is and has always been to stimulate conversation. If you don’t like it, don’t read it. It’s that simple.


April 4th, 2014
12:03 pm

@RJ – I find that I like Curvy Bootcut jeans from NY and Co. (used to be Lerner’s). They look good on my booty and my hips. LOL! And they are always on sale.


April 4th, 2014
12:08 pm

I pretty much stayed out of all that. I allowed the girls to get sensible, modest clothes. They tried a few skin cleaning products, and both had more trouble with breakouts than I did, but mostly used soap and water.

Their appearance was NOT the most important thing in their lives, and neither are dependent on external evaluation (ie, don’t pay much attention to what others think). I think being low key is best for self esteem, long-term.


April 4th, 2014
12:12 pm

I don’t think it will be that difficult to find a suitable dress. I know you like The Loft. They have a good petite section, and up to size 12. You included her picture in your MY blog – she looked like a size 8 or so. She will look good in most everything. Just don’t go for loose and shapeless – fitted will make her look better. I had great skin in my teens, but suffered from adult acne in my 20-30s. It was not pleasant. Ended up on Accutance.


April 4th, 2014
12:17 pm

I agree that the blog has gone a bit downhil, simply because of all the slapped together cut and pasting. I am only here for the comments myself. I remember mom2alex&max used to comment all the time.


April 4th, 2014
12:19 pm

I meant NY blog, as in New York, but said “MY” instead.


April 4th, 2014
12:36 pm

“To the Theresa haters…if you don’t like her blog, why do you continue to read it? Her goal is and has always been to stimulate conversation. If you don’t like it, don’t read it. It’s that simple

Ok, this attitude that many have expressed in recent weeks is worse to me than the trolls. Yes, there are some obnoxious posters who are too harsh in tone that seem to be here for the sole purpose of heckling Theresa. But not everyone who makes negative comments or offers constructive criticism is a “hater”. This is not a Yahoo group that Theresa set up and owns and operates out of the goodness of her heart, personal desire to run such a group, or whatever. It is a blog in a major newspaper and she is a pro. To treat it otherwise is demeaning to her and her professional skills. We should expect her and the AJC to produce high quality work. There’s nothing wrong with customers (that’s what we readers are — we pay by clicking on this and catching a glimpse of those ads at the top and side) civilly pointing out that quality has slipped and demanding better. Like others have said, it’s a mixed bag, but often Theresa seems to be phoning it in. Honestly, I don’t think her heart’s in it anymore, and that’s completely understandable. She’s been writing almost daily on the same theme for years — I’d think she’d be burned out on it by now. But she and the AJC need to figure out if she can find a way to inject new life into it, or if this blog needs to be overhauled and have a new author (maybe a broader parenting blog that doesn’t feel solely focused on middle-class suburban moms).


April 4th, 2014
12:49 pm

KSM: Like I said, I think a lot of people have stopped reading it altogether. If you were around 3 or 4 years ago (or even 2 years ago), you remember that there were WAY more comments than there are now.


April 4th, 2014
2:19 pm

I grew up short and curvy but I was REALLY curvy and ended up having a breast reduction at 17. Above the knee skirts will make the leg appear longer. Either V-neck or Scoop neck (I prefer a V) adds length to the neck also giving a taller appearance. Monochramatic does work best I did not have acne as a kid. I have much more acne now in my 40s than I ever did as a kid so I’m still trying to figure out what works there.


April 4th, 2014
2:47 pm

OK above the skirts for tweens/teens is not just to make the leg longer…It is actually for a younger lady. I don’t care how great your legs look, as you get older the hem line should come down some but to no lower than below the knee unless it is full skirt to the ankle. I have never seen calf length look good on anyone and neither has Clinton Kelly.


April 4th, 2014
2:50 pm

One more thing from Mr. Kelly:

Long legs make you look taller and thinner.

Get a good tailor if you have a flat butt.

Don’t wear a long shirt with a big butt. If you have a bit butt, only wear a shirt that goes half way down your butt. You want to cut your butt in half with the shirt, not cover it.


April 4th, 2014
4:28 pm

The blog hasn’t gone down hill in the past year or so. It has always been terrible. She has misspelled her blog titles for gods sake! She has never bothered to proof anything and 9 out of every 10 blogs have always been google, copy, paste, what do you think guys? why read then?, train wreck, pure train wreck. Who writes a blog about baseball prices that appears on an Atlanta website that doesn’t bother to include the Braves? Oh that’s right, she doesn’t even live here! She will no doubt delete this post and ban me…..I guess its easier than typing and proofreading!


April 4th, 2014
5:05 pm

Try Rodan+Fields’ Blemish line. Amazing stuff. R+F was developed by the same people who developed Proactive but Blemish seems to be kinder to faces. It’s not cheap, but it has worked on everyone I know that has tried it.


April 4th, 2014
7:24 pm

I actually think what chased a lot of people off is just the nastiness of the people making comments. I’m sure many people still read the blog, they just don’t comment because of a few idiots who think its their job to harass the blogger and anyone not agreeing with them. The same thing has happened on many of the other blogs I read on the internet. Commenting is not worth the hassle.


April 5th, 2014
8:55 am

I have always used Noxema cleanser and have always been happy with it. Nothing harsh and very clean afterwards.

Perhaps for her special birthday, you could take her (not the other two) out for a special day with a make-up artist (not too much plastered on, just one that understands shadings, colors that go with and complement eye color). Most big hair salons have someone that does this. I know that Spa Sydell had people who did this. You go in “blank” and they make suggestions and will show her how to look her best.

As far as the clothing goes, has she expressed an interest in hiding anything about her body? If not, let her wear what she wants. If she wears too much that “flatters,” your next blog will be about when should she be wearing promise rings and pick out her wedding registry items. Yikes! Just let her wear what she feels most comfortable in. Also, most higher-end department stores have personal shoppers that can help you (TWG, not Rose) understand what might flatter yet look her age.


April 5th, 2014
4:40 pm

AS ;long as she is not a tubby, whats to worry? Is she a tubby?

April Mae

April 5th, 2014
6:29 pm

Have you picked up a Neutrogena tinted lip balm for her? I don’t care for the Burt’s Bees little chapstick/lipgloss – it has a weird sheen to it. But the Neutrogena tinted balm is pretty, natural, and relatively sheer. Try the Sunny Berry or Soft Caramel shade for warm coloring. When she gets older and wears more makeup, try Almay. It’s good for sensitive skin and it tells you whether the shade is for warm or cool skin tones.


April 5th, 2014
8:06 pm

Aloe Vera Gel from Trader Joe’s is great for breakout prone skin. You put in on you face twice a day after washing. You will see a difference in a bout a week or two. I have been using it for 4 years now.


April 6th, 2014
3:55 pm

“The pediatrician says girls’ hips fuse two years after they start their periods and that will be their height.”

The heck? I call shenanigans. I’m 5′11″. I started my period at age 12. I was NOT 5′11″ at age 14. I was barely 5′8″.

As for skin care for the younger set, I highly recommend having a consult with a derm. She can help your daughter choose appropriate cleansers and teach her how to effectively deal with blemishes, without scarring her face.

Clothing–you HAVE to try things on. The way something looks on a hanger is NOT the way it will hang on a person.


April 6th, 2014
7:00 pm

@missnadine – My derm wants to put me on Accutane but it frightens me honestly. I have bipolar disorder and I’m afraid of how it will affect me emotionally. Doc says that she wants to put me on a low dosage for a longer time but something about potentially going nuts (keeping it light!) over pretty skin just does not feel good to me. How was your experience? If you want to chat privately, let me know and I’ll send Theresa my email address so we can chat offline. I am very much torn about this treatment.

Thanks for the mention of R+F Blemish. I will check that out too. I know that is definitely expensive (I glanced at them before) but as an alternative to Accutane…may be worth it.


April 7th, 2014
6:50 am

@ Denise, have you utilized the services of a good esthetician? I started having issues in my mid 30s and the derm wanted to put me on Accutane. Instead I started seeing an esthetician. Once I began proper skin care my issues disappeared. I had been to several derms and none of them took the time to learn about my skin or to teach me proper care. My esthetician does way more for me than the derms every did. There are some great products out there that when combined with a few good facials can have amazing results.


April 7th, 2014
9:27 am

@MomsRule, I want to find one here in Fort Worth but I have not gotten any recommendations. I had a so-so one in Atlanta. I would much rather go that route, honestly. Pay that money instead of go on different medications, especially those that may cause depression that I already suffer with.

Looked at Rodan and Fields. Some things have benzoyl perozide and I’m allegic/sensitive to that. oh, well. I guess I “save” $160 bucks.

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April 10th, 2014
3:57 pm

Try these natural skin products from the Dead Sea. They’ve worked really well for my daughter who has brown skin, and my son who has had acne breakouts before using the Mud soap.

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